Grants program enhances local land
For more than five years, the Bucks for Bush grants incentives program has assisted landholders to protect and enhance native vegetation through planting biodiverse shelterbelts, fencing remnant scrub and weed control.
Natural Resources South East Bush Management Advisor Abigail Goodman said the program, which is now complete, worked with more than 100 passionate landholders across the South East.
“The Bucks for Bush program added up to so much more,” Dr Goodman said.
“In a lot of cases we provided the seed funding, but also provided opportunity for other people to get involved and for landholders to think bigger than they did initially.”
Local landholder Rob Loechel was involved with the program and said his patch of scrub has been in the family since 1936.
“We've been very careful, because of the red-tailed black cockatoos that visit,” Mr Loechel said. “There have also been more than 25 different varieties of orchids photographed here!”.
“The grants have been magnificent, they’ve helped us out a lot in maintaining the flora and fauna we’ve got. The main thing we've gained out of the program is the support. It’s been good just to know someone else is thinking of us.”
Delivered by the SE NRM Board and NRSE through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare program, 107 projects were supported with 2904 hectares of native vegetation protected and enhanced, 111 ha of revegetation work, and 52km of shelter belts planted.
Bruce Wood and his family established their farm five years ago and have begun the second stage of their revegetation project.
“We had the great privilege of working with Bucks for Bush,” Mr Wood said.
“It has been a really important partner for us in the revegetation of our land. It is more than the funding that has been provided, it’s the team we've got to work with, the learning and encouragement.
“It taught us so much and we're also better understanding how to manage our pastures and how to manage these areas for better environmental outcomes.”
“The real dream I have is walking in 25 years’ time through this area with my grandchildren showing them what we've managed to achieve.”
Although the Bucks for Bush program is complete, the foundations and networks that have been built over the past five years will have lasting impacts on the environment and biodiversity of our region.
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